Dental Assisting - FAQ

Dental Assisting

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a dental assistant do?
A dental assistant is a licensed oral health professional who assists the dentist to provide preventative and restorative treatments. Job responsibilities vary greatly, and can include positions such as office management and lab technician.

Will I be eligible to practice as a dental assistant if I graduate from this program?
The LCC Dental Assisting Program is fully accredited. Graduation from this program makes you eligible for National certification and state licensure, which is required in order to perform all of the expanded functions of dental assisting.

Do I need a license or certificate to work as a dental assistant in Oregon? If so, how will I go about getting it?
Although basic dental assisting duties can be performed without a license, dental assisting graduates who successfully complete state/national written examinations and submit an acceptable clinical radiological survey will obtain the credentials needed to perform all of the expanded functions required by most dental employers. This allows the assistant to provide many additional dental services and take needed x-rays.

What organizations or agencies have, or need to, approve or accredit the program so that the graduates can be certified or licensed?
The LCC Dental Assisting program is fully accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. This allows the graduates to obtain all credentials through the Dental Assisting National Board's "pathway I" option.

How do I get into the program?
Students are required to submit a completed application by the deadline. Each applicant will receive points for academic coursework completed based on the grade achieved in that class. Points are used to determine the strength of the application for the Dental Assistant Program. The current point system is included in the application packet.

Is there a residency requirement for getting accepted into the program?
All applicants must be Oregon residents by the date of application.

How and when can I apply?
The application is found on the Dental Assisting Program website. Application deadlines are also provided. Interested applicants should begin reviewing the online application in Fall and early Winter terms to become acquainted with application requirements. Careful planning will benefit the applicant, assuring that he/she has completed required coursework and application requirements.

What are the prerequisites (courses/activities) for the program?
The following courses or their equivalent are required prior to the beginning of fall term of the program.

  • MTH 052 or higher with a letter grade of C- or higher.
  • Human Relations Requirement with a letter grade of C- or higher.
  • WR 115 or WR 121 with a letter grade of C- or higher.
  • CIS 101 or CS 120 with a letter grade of C- or higher.

Please review the needed pre-requisites for the 2 year AGS option also. This may be a consideration in deciding which class to take when options are available.

I won't have all my prerequisites completed by the application deadline. Can I still get into the program?
The Dental Assisting Program prerequisites need to be completed by the beginning of the program year; however, as points are awarded based on grades achieved in taking the prerequisite courses, completion of the courses prior to application makes the application more competitive.

If I have taken extra classes, will that improve my chances of being selected for the program?
Beginning with the 2012-2013 application, additional points will be awarded for successful completion of two classes that are not required, but would be beneficial. These are:

  • HO 100 Medical Terminology
  • EL 115H Effective Learning; Health Science Majors

For point allocations and minimum qualifying scores, see the application point sheet.

Can some of the program classes be taken ahead to improve my application score or make the year easier?
Both DA 110 (Health Sciences) and DA 103 (Dental Law and Ethics) can be taken prior to admittance into the program. Points are given for each, based on the grade earned, which can improve the application score. Both classes are offered online during summer term. Contact the instructor, Kym Peterson, 541-463-5261 for more information. (A combination of BI 231 and BI 232 – Anatomy and Physiology 1 and 2, can be substituted for Health Sciences).

I've taken classes outside of Lane that seem similar to the prerequisites. Will the program accept my previous coursework?
Course equivalencies must be applied for and evaluated. This is the responsibility of the student. Steps are outlined on page 2 of the Dental Assisting application.

How many students does the program accept each year?
The LCC Dental Assisting Program admits 30 students per year.

If I apply this year but don't get in, am I automatically accepted for next year?
Based on the point system used, qualified applications are categorized as accepted, alternate or waiting list, (with the highest point scores going to the accepted category). If your application is categorized as alternate, and you are not needed to fill a vacant spot in the program this year, you will be given additional points towards the following years application providing you attended the mandatory orientation sessions, but you will still need to reapply. Applications categorized as waiting list are not given any special consideration in subsequent years.

How much does the program cost?
Estimated program costs are $7650.

Will employment in a dental office help me be accepted to the program?
Beginning with the 2012-2013 application, additional application points can be earned by previous paid employment in a dental office. For point allocations and minimum number of hours to qualify, see the application point sheet.

Will a prior college degree affect my Dental Assisting application?
Beginning with the 2012-2013 application, additional application points will be applied for prior bachelors, masters or higher college degrees. For point allocation, see the application point sheet.